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take to the hustings

To campaign, with an emphasis on delivering political speeches. A "hustings" was the platform on which candidates were nominated to British Parliament through the mid-19th century. If you want to be voted onto city council, you need to take to the hustings and talk to the people.
See also: hustings, take

on the hustings

Campaigning for office. The noun hustings comes from the Old Norse husthing, for house assembly, which meant a council held by a king or other leader that included his immediate followers (rather than a large assembly of the people). In England husting became a court of law, specifically the highest court of the City of London. Eventually it was transferred, in the plural, to the platform where the city officials sat, and later still to the platform from which candidates for Parliament were nominated. From this last sense came its current meaning of the candidates’ platform for campaign speeches, or simply campaigning. A synonymous phrase with a far simpler history is on the stump. An Americanism dating from the 1700s, it alludes to a tree stump used as a platform by a frontiersman making a speech.
See also: hustings, on
References in periodicals archive ?
| Boris Johnson at yesterday's hustings at Carlisle Racecourse
But if we can't handle it with friends, we won't deserve to lead against our opponents," Hunt said in a letter to Johnson before the hustings. "If you want the job, you have to turn up for the interviews."
Now imagine a similar TV leadership hustings for the opposition party: what unity of approach would emerge were the five contenders on the TV bar stools to be Jeremy Corbyn, deputy leader Tom Watson, the shadow chancellor John McDonnell, Sir Keir Starmer and shadow Home Secretary Diane Abbott?
But Labour said later: "This is standard procedure for any internal selection hustings in the Labour Party.
So, did James Morris vote with his conscience as he claimed he would do at the hustings? If he did so, one can only conclude he is morally bankrupt.
He said: "The hustings was organised by Labour supporters and I don't attend hustings events organised by opposition party supporters.
Huddersfield Conservative candidate Scott Benton was missing from the Huddersfield hustings while Theresa May was noticeably absent from the BBC programme.
There will also be televised hustings on the BBC, Sky, ITV and Channel 4.
The open hustings takes place just days before the key vote and will give an opportunity to ask how the leadership hopefuls would approach issues like children's services, education and looming fears of Government intervention.
Liverpool-born Andy Burnham gave a strong performance in the hustings at Parr Hall but saw continued support for emerging front-runner and left wing candidate Jeremy Corbyn.
LABOUR MPs vying to be the party's next leader set out their stall at a hustings in Newcastle.
A hustings event, involving the candidates bidding to succeed Ed Miliband, will be filmed by the BBC in the town, at a location still to be confirmed, on June 17.